Bonaire is an island located in the South of the Caribbean, belonged in the past to the Netherlands Antilles as its islands “sisters” Aruba and Curaçao, which are only 64 and 129 kms. The island of Bonaire is located outside the hurricane zone, which unlike other areas of the Caribbean allows you to dive peacefully throughout the year. Access by plane is easy and convenient as it is just over 500 miles from Miami or nine hours direct flight from Amsterdam.
Bonaire has three different types of landscapes, the semi-arid central region, while the southern region is flat and very open with a unique mangrove system in the world and saltwater ponds. The northern part, on the other hand, greener and steeper, with a height of 218 meters at its highest point. A constant water temperature of 27 degrees and an air temperature of just over 28 degrees, make Bonaire an ideal place for diving or a quiet vacation all year round.
The population of Bonaire is a rich mixture of several cultures with a marked influence of the African slaves who came to the island at the beginning of the year 1,600. Today it is an interesting mix of people of African and Dutch descent. As far as spoken languages are concerned, while Dutch and Papiamento are the official languages, English is widely spoken by the majority on the island. The Antillean guilder, also called Guilder. It is the official currency although the unofficial currency and the one that is accepted anywhere on the island is the US Dollar..
Bonaire has no public transport system on the island and the flight & drive program of the Buddy Dive Resort is the best alternative to move around the island.
For many years, the Bonaire Government has played a prominent role in the preservation and protection of nature on the island, both below and above the water..
Bonaire has more than eighty dive sites, located south of the island and on the small island called Klein Bonaire located just in front of the Resort. Many of the dive sites are easily accessible from the shore, which has made this island a world reference for diving “shore diving”. The “dive sites” are clearly indicated with “phytas” formed by yellow stones. Naturally, the diving spots that are located next to each other will have similar characteristics, but you will see that the type of diving you find in the North is very different from the type of diving you can see in the South or in Klein Bonaire. The south of the island is very flat, and that geography continues below the water. The dive sites in the South are characterized by a long underwater platform, with a gentle slope reaching progressively deeper shallow waters. Here there is abundant soft coral, great Gorgonians and a rich fauna that includes numerous turtles, Angel fish “Pomacantus Paru” and encounters with pelagic species in the extreme south of the island are not uncommon.
Diving in the North is completely different, steeper, with short terraces that give way to deeper areas. Here we see more hard coral, such as the brain coral as well as large colonies of star corals.
As for the diving on the island of Klein Bonaire, located just in front of the resort, each of the four sides of Klein Bonaire offers different views, but generally we see short, shallow terraces filled with soft corals and then a steeper slope that, in many areas, goes down into the abyss.
Among the more than 80 diving spots on the island, “1000 Steps” stands out, located on the edge of a steep cliff. Actually there are only 64 steps but according to the legend, it is as if they were 1000 steps up after a dive. At this northern diving point we can see a long, shallow water terrace where you can observe an interesting fauna that includes turtles, “school masters napper” and pelagic.
Another interesting dive spot is “Buddy ‘s Reef” where we entered jumping from the dock, swam about 9 meters to submerge and descend progressively to – 40 meters. Here we can see seahorses, “frogfish”, soft corals and large gorgonians.
“Sampler” with a maximum depth of about 30 meters, located north of Klein Bonaire, is an excellent place to dive with turtles by day and see lobsters at night.
Bonaire also has some interesting wreck with great visibility and located at shallow depth, ideal for any type of diver.
The Buddy Dive Resort is cozy, with spacious rooms and its own diving center, where we have unlimited diving from shore (without a guide), free nitrox and a “pick up” car at our disposal to move freely around the island. It is an ideal place for scuba diving “a tu aire” where in addition to diving you can make interesting excursions. The nightlife in the capital is crowded, with numerous restaurants and bars. It is tradition on the part of the Dutch to come here to spend the end of the year.
The resort has 77 hotel rooms, studios and also two and three bedroom apartments offering the necessary comfort and privacy. All apartments have fully equipped kitchens with microwave, refrigerator, while the rooms are comfortably furnished with cable TV, telephones and air conditioning. The Buddy Dive resort also has its own fleet of cars and the diving center has a school for courses, both beginner and advanced.
In resume Bonaire is an unknown diving destination for us Spaniards but well known and appreciated worldwide, it is worth a visit to enjoy a nice dive and completely on your own.